Competitors may compete in the 4 Deserts Race Series in any order except The Last Desert (Antarctica) which requires an invitation. To receive an invitation to The Last Desert (Antarctica), competitors must first complete two of the other races in the 4 Deserts Race Series.
Individuals that successfully complete all four races in the 4 Deserts Race Series become members of the 4 Deserts Club. At the start of 2014, the 4 Deserts Club consisted of 126 individuals representing 30 different countries.
Only 29 competitors have completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam which requires them to complete all four races in the 4 Deserts Race Series in one calendar year (between January and December of the same year).
Since 2003, more than 100 countries have been represented at the start line of 4 Deserts races. Competitors have come from such places as Angola, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belize, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Guam, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
At each race in the 4 Deserts Race Series there are approximately 40 countries represented. Of these countries, roughly 1/3 of competitors are from North America, 1/3 from Asia Pacific and 1/3 from Europe.
Competitors in the 4 Deserts Race Series have differing goals: some competitors aim to win or place in the Top Ten, while other competitors enter with the goal of “simply finishing.” Roughly 20% of competitors run the entire course, while 60% combine running with walking and 20% walk the entire course.
There are cut-off times for each stage, but the times are typically generous enough to allow walkers to complete the course. The cut-off times are based on an average speed of 4 kilometers per hour / 2.5 miles per hour.
The fastest 4 Deserts completion time is 23 hours, 12 minutes, 33 seconds by Spanish runner Vicente Garcia Beneito at the Gobi March (China) 2012.
Only three competitors have won all 4 Deserts Race Series events – this was Ryan Sandes of South Africa, Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain and Anne-Marie Flammersfeld of Germany. The latter two competitors won all 4 Deserts races in 2012 when they completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam.
Just two competitors have completed all five events - the 4 Deserts Grand Slam plus the Roving Race - in the same calendar year. These were Canadian Stan Lee (2010) and American James Gaston (2012).
Many 4 Deserts Race Series competitors raise money for charities close to their hearts. Competitors can raise money for any charity they choose. Many raise many hundreds of thousands of dollars. The 4 Deserts Race Series also donates money and supplies to charities around the world.
Competitors must be between the age 21 and 70 to compete in the 4 Deserts Race Series. The average competitor age is 38 years.
Approximately 20% of 4 Deserts Race Series competitors are female and 80% percent of competitors are male.
Competitors come from all walks of life – occupations include students, bankers, actors, senior managers, stay-at-home parents, insurance, recruitment, property management, professional athletes, company owners and everything in between.
At each race, between 30-40% of participants are returning 4 Deserts Race Series competitors.
At every race in the 4 Deserts Race Series, there is a team of 60-80 staff, including management, medical doctors and volunteers. Media teams from around the world also cover the races on site.
A professional medical team with a ratio of one medical doctor for every 25 competitors works on site throughout each event.
Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis and entries are limited based on government and environmental concerns. You do not need to qualify for the races but must complete paperwork about your medical history, past experience in endurance races and current training. You are also required to have a medical certificate signed by a medical doctor.